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7 posts tagged with cartography by filthy light thief.
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A cartographic history of why North, not East or South, is up

How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2014 - 28 comments

What four commonly used projections do, as shown on a human head

Maps can help make sense of the world, but they can also distory your sense of reality (Archive.org stream view, page 58 of Elements of Map Projection with Applications to Map and Chart Construction). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 13, 2014 - 26 comments

Heinrich Berann, the father of the modern cartographic panorama

Heinrich Caesar Berann is known as the father of the modern cartographic panorama and is also credited as the most prolific panorama artist ever. His style and work could be credited with the lasting appeal of stylized panoramic maps that often feature exaggerated or distorted features as the preferred map type for ski resorts and trails (PDF) but Berann's true passion was art, as seen in these collections of his paintings and drawings found on the tribute site maintained by his grandson, Matthias Troyer. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 2, 2013 - 6 comments

"You need have no fear of any failure" -- the life and explorations of Percy Fawcett

The London Geographical Journal, the preeminent publication in its field, observed in 1953 that “Fawcett marked the end of an age. One might almost call him the last of the individualist explorers. The day of the aeroplane, the radio, the organized and heavily financed modern expedition had not arrived. With him, it was the heroic story of a man against the forest.” Fawcett was none other than Percival "Percy" Harrison Fawcett, British soldier, trained as a surveyor of unknown lands, doubling as a British spy. But his true love was exploration, and not simply to mark boundaries on a map. His final goal was the same that had been the demise of many explorers: a mighty lost civilization in South America. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 29, 2011 - 6 comments

Informative, entertaining and shocking: the Land Octopus, a satirical cartographic animal

Over the centuries, the high seas have served as a blank canvas for cartographers’ worst nightmares. They have dotted the oceans with a whole crypto-zoo of island-sized whales, deathly seductive mermaids, giant sea serpents, and many more - a whole panoply of heraldic horrors. As varied as this marine bestiary is, mapmakers have settled on a single, favourite species for land-based beastliness: the octopus. Bonus: Satire Maps and Fred W. Rose (YT, 3:32); Fred Rose's Serio-Comic War Map (YT, 1:52). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 15, 2011 - 10 comments

Happy 115th, Mr Fuller!

When he was 32, his life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity." If the architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller were still alive, he would be 115 years old today. Though he died in 1983, his legacy grows on through recordings of his ideas and the Buckminster Fuller Institute. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 12, 2010 - 32 comments

Charting Imaginary Worlds

Comic Book Cartography is more than maps of make-believe lands. It also covers cutaways ga-lore, robot schematics, and diagrams of Batman's utility belt. In the same vein, there was The Marvel Atlas Project (M.A.P.), and though it is now offline, some pictures have survived. There is also the two-part Marvel Atlas, a subset of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The Atlast of the DC Universe is limited to Earth, (sourced from the DC Heros RPG book and Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2000), and Mapping Gotham is a single blog post which collects some maps from Batman's world, as found from a variety of sources. The Map Room collected a few more, some which require some digging into the archives. [more, previously]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 15, 2010 - 28 comments

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